Believe it or not, but the term ‘self-care’ (or ‘self-love’ for that matter) doesn’t necessarily boil down to just Netflix and takeout. In fact, it is said that to feel properly rested, you need to take into account 7 distinct types of rest. This was most notably posited by Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D., in a her now well publicised Ted.com article.
Saundra, who also authored the book Sacred Rest, theorizes that human beings need not just physical and mental rest, but five other lesser known counterparts too. And if you’re neglecting these 7 types of ‘rest’, it is possible to enter a state known as a ‘rest deficit’. A key takeaway to remember is that sleep and rest are not one and the same.
So what are the 7 different types of rest?
1. Physical rest
This is explained as the physical act of resting that we often commit to doing daily. Physical rest can be defined by two separate states: active or passive. Active rest refers to activities such as yoga and mediation, whereas passive rest refers to napping or sleeping. Both aid in maintaining your general biological functions.
2. Mental rest
Taking a mental break has been discussed with such regularity in the wellness industry, it’s become a buzzword in its own right. If your brain has the tendency to keep running long after you’ve left the office, you may be suffering from mental rest deficit.
Mental rest means granting your brain time and space to breathe. And this typically involves stepping away from making decisions or processing new information. Not only is this crucial to the learning process, having adequate mental rest helps improve your memory too.
3. Sensory rest
Easily overlooked by city-dwellers, we often fail to recognise how overloaded our senses can be, between the noise, bright lights, and chaos of a fast-paced urban environment. To address this, give your senses a break by retreating to a quiet place (like your bedroom for instance) to unwind.
Avoid distractions such as loud music or social media, and focus on your breathing.
4. Creative rest
Creativity thrives on taking inspiration from the world around you, or in taking a new perspective to established works. But if you’re working in the creative field, you’ll gradually begin to realise how quickly you’ll eventually run dry of ideas. Suddenly, the world around you may feel less intriguing, lacking in wonder or awe.
This is a phase known as creative burnout.
If you suffer from a creative burnout, it’s important that you steer clear of trying to produce new creative works. Instead, step out and explore the world around you, soaking in even the most minute details. Reconnect with the people you know and enjoy new experiences together. Then when you chance upon a new idea, write it down immediately.
5. Social rest
Introverts and ambiverts may relate to this on a spiritual level, but even extroverts need social rest too. This may sound surprising, but having to interact with people on a daily basis can wear your social batteries down. The constant ebb and flow of social interactions we experience daily can lead to social rest deficit. This is especially true when we fail to prioritise positive relationships around us, too.
If you suffer from social rest deficit, take a good look at the people you spend the most time with and ask yourself if the relationships you have with them are exerting a positive or negative influence on your life.
6. Emotional rest
If you suffer from a social rest deficit, then you’ll probably have experienced an emotional rest deficit at some point too. Those who experience emotional burnouts find that their emotional tolerance may become weaker. They grow to become more prone to anger, agitation, and annoyance. As this threshold wanes, they may find yourself veering on course for a full-blown emotional breakdown, which can result in numbness and exhaustion.
To prevent this, scale back on interactions that you have identified as strong emotional triggers (especially social media). Discover the importance in expressing your emotions honestly, and surround yourself with a supportive network.
7. Spiritual rest
Before you jump the gun, spiritual rest does not necessarily mean being attached to a form of instutionalised worship. What spiritual rest refers to is how we as human beings derive meaning from the lives that we lead and the conscious decisions that we make. If you have a habit of breezing through life without giving pause to consider your place in the world, you may find yourself lacking in purpose and direction.
Establishing that takes a moment of introspection and self-reflection. Grant yourself the time to establish your sense of purpose in the world and nurture a sense of love and belonging for who you are and where you are in your life.
But there’s one more thing.
Allowing your hormones to recuperate can be incredibly beneficial too. Curvena’s Hormonal Rebalancing Therapy fuses modern self-care techniques with traditional methods for the ultimate weekend body retreat. Step into a Steam Bath that cossets you with warm reassurance, followed by the sublime relaxation of a Coffee Scrub that melts away the tension from your pores.
Then unwind with a Ginger Body Mask applied over your stomach (or back) that encourages microcirculation, before soaking in a Spice Bath infused with the goodness of seven different herbs. These all help contribute to an improved sense of well-being, while keeping key hormonal levels such as cortisol (stress) in check.
All these components work in unison to:
- Improve overall hormonal balance
- Reduce your stress levels
- Prevent sudden weight gain
- Drain excess water weight
- Promote improved sleep hygiene
We’d consider this to be the easiest & most gratifying step in maintaining all 7 types of rest in your life.
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